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Since its 2007 introduction, the Jeep Patriot has remained largely unchanged with various year-to-year updates and a more significant mid-product-cycle update in 2011. Those changes included refreshed front and rear fascias, a body-colored grille and improved 4x4 ride height. Interior upgrades, improved handling and a new voice-command navigation system also became available.
Upon the Patriot's introduction and continuing throughout its model run, two engine choices have been offered. These include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 158 horsepower and a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 172 horsepower. The smaller engine was initially offered only with the Sport 4x2 edition and came paired with a 5-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is available. The second of the two trim levels, Limited, offers the larger engine and a standard manual transmission or an optional CVT.
Jeep has continued to expand the Patriot's model line, adding a Latitude edition in 2011. In later years the automaker added an Altitude edition, slotting that between the Sport and Latitude and a High Altitude edition between the Latitude and Limited. Beginning in 2014, Jeep replaced the CVT with a six-speed automatic transmission in most models. The CVT became optional in select 4x4 models.
While the Jeep Compass has a face similar to the Grand Cherokee, the Jeep Patriot's look is similar to the Wrangler with its round headlamps. Like other Jeep models, the Patriot features the brand's trademark seven-slat vertical grille. Fog lamps are embedded into the front bumper on some models, while a front skid plate accompanies 4x4 models.
The Patriot is amplified by traditional chiseled Jeep lines and rectangular shapes that outline the hood, wheel wells and roofline. Multiple character lines are also present, running across the beltline and from door to door. Rocker panel embellishments, a squared rear liftgate, available roof rails and a single exhaust tip are other defining characteristics.
Inside, the Jeep Patriot offers room for five. Cloth seats are standard. Newer models offer optional leather seats, including heated front seats. A 60-40 split-folding seat is in the rear with a reclining feature added at the Latitude trim level on up. This model has very good head- and legroom up front and sufficient room in the back. The Jeep Patriot has 23 cubic feet of standard storage capacity, expandable to 53.5 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.
The instrument panel features a four-analog display with two larger tachometer and speedometer gauges offset by a pair of smaller displays for oil pressure and fuel level. Newer models offer a Uconnect infotainment system option.
Upgrades can bring in a 115-volt power outlet, a power sunroof, navigation and a Boston acoustics audio system. Various off-road packages are also available and come with hill start assist and hill-descent control.
Besides considering the Jeep Compass, Patriot shoppers will find that every mainstream manufacturer is represented in this segment. Those rival models include the Ford Escape, Kia Sportage, Toyota RAV4, Hyundai Tucson, Nissan Rogue, Honda CR-V, Subaru XV Crosstrek, Mazda CX-5 and Volkswagen Tiguan.